Friday, February 26, 2021

MD to Vote on Whether to Let PG County Freeze in the Dark

 Maryland Matters, Bill Would Prevent More Power Plants From Being Built in Prince George’s

There are four power plants within 13 miles of Brandywine, an unincorporated town in southern Prince George’s County. Other industrial hazards such as a sand and gravel mine and a fly ash landfill also exist in the community, which helps explain the dozens of diesel trucks that pass through the town on a daily basis.

So what's magic about 13 miles, other than by using 13 miles, they could get the most facilities in the circle, including at least one out PG County? 

More than 70% of Brandywine’s population is Black. Some residents call it an environmental sacrifice zone for Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region — and Maryland lawmakers are trying to change that.

The Prince George’s County Stop Environmentally Unjust Coal and Gas Plants Act of 2021, a bill proposed by the Prince George’s House delegation, would preclude the Maryland Public Service Commission from permitting any more coal or gas fired power plants to be constructed in Prince George’s County.

I would hope the would build no more coal plants there; Chalk Point is quite enough. 

House Bill 613 had originally prohibited any power plants to exist in Prince George’s County altogether, but Del. Julian Ivey (D-Prince George’s) said the delegation is working on amending the bill so that it is “prospective legislation rather than retroactive” and allows current energy generating facilities to continue operating.

“For the time being, it would draw the line and say no new coal or gas power plants would be allowed in Prince George’s County limits,” Ivey told the House Economics Matter Committee Thursday.

“As we’re doing the work of moving away from fossil fuels, moving towards renewable energy, this is really just one iteration of that fight,” he continued.

There are currently three energy generating facilities in Prince George’s County.

There are two energy generating facilities in our much smaller county, a 3 gigawatt nuclear plant, which happens to be three miles from me, and a gas fired plant recently added to provide power for the the Dominion LNG facility at Cove Point. Except for providing fishing opportunities (and many local jobs) neither impacts my life significantly. PG County has a population of approximately 900,000, while Calvert has a population of about 90,000, so per capita, we have almost 5 times as many! 

Ivey said the bill has not been voted out of the Prince George’s delegation, but he plans to push for a vote on it next week.

James Lawson, a resident of Accokeek, referred to a 2019 health assessment published by the county health department and the University of Maryland and said residents in southern Prince George’s County have been found to suffer from higher rates of respiratory illness, which Lawson blamed on the power plants in the region.

“Prince George’s County should not be should not be a place where every polluting undesirable industry project is welcome,” Lawson said. “Prince George’s County has more than its share of power plants and the resulting adverse health effects.”

They should demand a nice clean, quiet nuke plant immediately.  

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